Monday, December 29, 2008

Frozen River

I was really curious about this movie that slowly made its way into collecting top honors in many international fests and during the current awards season. Had no idea what the movie was about and as soon it started got my attention and didn’t lost it for one second, that’s how good this movie is because of a great story, excellent performances plus a very interesting cinematography especially outdoors with the takes of the frozen river.

Written and directed by Courtney Hunt I believe the movie is about motherhood and how mothers protect and will do almost anything to care for their children. But what you’ll see in the screen is a woman, Ray Eddy, that her gambling addicted husband left her and their two children days before Christmas taking with him the money to pay for their new house and leaving them with no money. As Ray looks for her husband in the Mohawk reservation casino, she will not find him but she will find Lila (Misty Upham) and together they will embark into smuggling illegal aliens from Canada into the USA. So you have a compelling story about motherhood told in a thrilling way that will kept you interested in what the two woman are doing and guessing what could come next.

Performances are good but this movie absolutely belongs to Melissa Leo that plays Ray Eddy with extraordinary credibility that will generate in viewers all kind of emotions as she’s a strong and assertive woman trying to meet ends for their kids. After I watched the movie I was really impressed with her performance and her face was familiar but I couldn’t place her, so my surprise was to find that she was in three episodes of the second season of The L Word! Still I do not remember the character Winnie Mann but I’ll watch the episodes again.

Anyway the movie as a movie has very good production values and the scenes of the frozen St. Lawrence river are filmed with such care to details that you really feel scared each time they drive from New York State to the Province of Quebec and do not to forget that the filming was done under tough conditions. Very well done.

The film since premiered in competition at the 2008 Sundance fest has been collecting awards, starting with the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the SIGNIS and Another Look Award at 2008 San Sebastian, Best Film at 2008 Stockholm fest, Best Feature at the 2008 Gotham awards; plus Melissa Leo winning the Silver Shell for Best Actress in San Sebastian; the Best Actress at the 2008 Marrakech fest, Breakthrough Actor at 2008 Gotham, and Spotlight Award at 2008 NBR, to just mention a few of the top awards this film has been receiving and honestly, all are well deserved for the outstanding movie, Leo’s performance and the excellent director.

I strongly recommend this movie to all that enjoy a good thrilling drama very well executed, with a touching compelling story told using the most unusual situations that I could image for two so different female characters.

Big Enjoy!!!

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